Saturday, December 11, 2010

The New Pigments

I've often been deceived by watercolors once they dry out, they loose their saturation and a bit of value. I've read this almost in every book and blog, I thought it was something normal inherent to the medium, and that I was supposed to live with it, Until now... Few weeks ago, I was browsing, I was about to order papers and some new tubes... then the question came... I've always used Holbein since the very beginning, sometime W&N, Schmick but mostly Holbein. It was recommended by the famous Charles Reid, the price was cheap and it was made in Japan. All 3 elements to convince me this was good stuff. I got curious about other manufacturers, ended up my search on So I decided to try out M. Graham & Co. My stuff finally arrived, I threw out the old pigment, put all Graham in my palette and started painting. I was under the impression that the colors were much brighter than usual... but I wasn't sure... afraid of being under the placebo effect. But the next day, without her knowing that I had changed anything, my wife commented on the new painting, she talked mosltly about the unusual bright colors. Bingo! M. Graham & Co succeed the wife test.

So today I have 3 tips,

Watercolors : M. Graham & Co
Art Webstore:
Information about pigments:

With new pigments, come a new approach :) I just wanted to do some fun stuff, I like doing little stubby characters.

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Saturday, December 4, 2010

5x7 Study

I was walking down FuZhou Lu, and found this skull in plaster. 22RMB(4USD), I grabbed it, it was still wet, not fully dry. FuZhou lu is probably my favorite street in Shanghai, it harbor many art shop, and books stores. For a tenth of what it could cost in any other city. I also found a Kazuo Oga art book. When I look at his stuff, I feel like trying some gouache.

5x7 Study

The more I do it, the more I realize that it's only now that I'm really serious about painting. Alla Prima's book has taught me things I wasn't even aware of. My biggest challenge is to identify value and hue with accuracy. I think I'll make myself 5 punched card of 5 different values, from white to black. So I can evaluate on the scene by looking thru the punched hole, what is the range of the value I'm seeing.

This is our Hotel Apartement.